Gideon a Man of Valor

The children of Israel had come out of Egypt, God had provided miracles for them and had given them a wonderful homeland. All seemed well. Until.
They went back to their own way of doing things. After some time, troubles came by way of a band of people called the Midianites. They lived over yonder on the other side of the Jordan River. And they were greedy.
They wanted to good crops of the Israelites.
So they would come and take it.

The Israelites complained and griped about their situation (instead of learning how to do something about it).

Now, one man, Gideon, was trying to do the best he could. He decided to thresh his wheat in a wine vat. It was a place of a rock wall, where people would press the grapes for wine. He could thresh his wheat unseen. So, one day when he was busy at work he had a visitor. An Angel.

The angel said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.”
I’ve always thought this was funny. An angel would call him a “man of valor” while he was hiding in a wine vat hiding from the enemy.
Did Gideon think wonderful things about this Angel? Did he think about the compliment that was just given to him?
Did he think about how special he was that an angel appeared and visited him?
Did he sing praises, worship God, run in fear and awe?
No, No and No.

He complained. He griped. He told the Angel “Pardon me, my lord, but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?

When things don’t seem to be going our way, we tend to be like Gideon and his folks. Gripers and complainers.

Judges 6
14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Do you know the rest of story. First Gideon had to have even more proof that the message was from God.
But he finally believed, and he went. He did become a mighty man of valor.

Think about it. what would have happened if Gideon had completely ignored the angel? What if he had refused to listen to instruction? What if he had not listed to guidance?

Sometimes things don’t look to pleasant. Recently in our area we have had horrific storms, tornadoes. There are job layoffs, families are breaking up, there is sickness. Hardships and heartaches abound. There are a lot of things that some people say “God has deserted us. He has left us.”

But, something to think about is, have you listened to the messengers of God? Sometimes “angels” don’t appear with wings and halos.

Learn to listen to your inner promptings. Become a person of valor who listens to and obeys God.

And a note about the Angel and his “valor” message. I think the Angel was giving us a lesson in speaking words of confidence and building others up as they SHOULD be, not who they are now. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver”. Good words are valuable!

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